e-Learning for Educators
Course Information



Special Students in Regular Classrooms--Universal Design
 
Course Description
    

This workshop provides an introduction to the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and strategies for implementing a UDL approach in instructional settings. Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching and learning and the development of curriculum and assessment that draws on current brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual differences. This workshop is designed to acquaint participants with UDL principles and provide practical, hands-on experience using software tools and digital media for learning support. Participants will explore how these tools can be incorporated into their classroom practice and plan a lesson that uses these tools.

 
Course Syllabus
    

Technology, Teaching, and Universal Design


Workshop Overview

This workshop provides an introduction to the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and strategies for implementing a UDL approach in instructional settings. Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching and learning and the development of curriculum and assessment that draws on current brain research and new media technologies to respond to individual differences. This workshop is designed to acquaint participants with UDL principles and provide practical, hands-on experience using software tools and digital media for learning support. Participants will explore how these tools can be incorporated into their classroom practice and plan a lesson that uses these tools.

Goals

During this workshop, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Understand the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning;
  • Address diverse learning needs in the 21st century;
  • Extend learning opportunities for all students through digital technologies and explore a variety of these tools;
  • Develop strategies to universally design classroom assessments;
  • Understand how differentiated instruction relates to UDL; and
  • Analyze curriculum barriers and develop a plan to address these barriers using UDL principles.

Alignment to Standards

This workshop meets the standards for Content, Instructional Design, and Technology as defined in the National Standards of Quality for Online Courses, published by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning(iNACOL).

This workshop provides teachers with an opportunity to meet the Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership standard as defined in the National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers, published by the International Society for Technology in Education(ISTE).

Intended Audience

This workshop is designed for teachers, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers, and be proficient with using email and web-browsers.

Workshop Outline

Session One: What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?

This session will introduce participants to the major features of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) methodology. They will have the opportunity to watch and listen as several instructors share their experiences with UDL in their classrooms, and be introduced to several organizations that will serve as important resources for information and support on implementing UDL.

Session Two: Taking a 21st Century Perspective

In Session Two, participants will reflect on the learning needs of students who live in the digital age—commonly referred to as "21st Century Students." They will read articles detailing the needs of these students and watch videos elaborating on the way that teaching with technology can enhance instruction. Additionally, participants will explore a website introducing them to the types of tools that will be explored throughout this workshop.

Session Three: Multiple Means of Representation and Alternatives to the "Text"book

In Session Three, participants will learn about the many ways that content can be delivered that goes far beyond the traditional textbook. Participants will learn about digital text and how it has changed the way students can receive content, and explore several tools for making that content more accessible for all students. They will also reflect on their existing curriculum and identify any barriers it may pose for students.

Session Four: Multiple Means of Expression and Universal Assessments

In this session, participants will consider the ways students can express their knowledge in a UDL framework. They will read articles focusing on how to design standard assessments universally, and explore tools that allow students an alternate method of showing what they have learned.

Session Five: Multiple Means of Engagement and Differentiating Instruction

In this session participants will explore a concept closely related to the principles of Universal Design: Differentiated Instruction. They will read an article from CAST discussing this relationship, and watch a video detailing how several teachers apply this strategy in their classrooms. Additionally, participants will be introduced to several resources for creating differentiated lessons through the use of multimedia.

Session Six: Bringing It All Together

In this culminating session participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their learning throughout the workshop and post their final project for feedback. They will also have the opportunity to review several promising practices being used throughout the country to implement UDL.

Assessment

Specific questions about assessment, expectations, or requirements should be directed to the facilitator of this workshop. WVDE requires that the following criteria be used to determine successful completion of this workshop:

  • Participation in all session discussion forums;
  • Completion of the workshop’s final project, submitted to the facilitator and/or posted in the appropriate discussion forum; and
  • Completion of the orientation and final workshop surveys.

Discussion Participation
Participants are required to post a minimum of two substantial postings, including one that begins a new thread and one that responds to an existing thread, in all session discussion forums. Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone. These criteria are discussed further in the Discussion Board Expectations.

Workshop Activities
Participants are expected to complete the workshop readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Activities may include exploring websites related to workshop content, watching online video clips, using specific technology applications, and working on the final project.

Final Project
As a final project for this workshop, participants will create a lesson plan utilizing the principles of Universal Design. The plan will include connections to standards, an analysis of curriculum barriers, a plan to address these barriers, and a plan for assessment. Participants are expected to work independently on the final project throughout the workshop, and should submit a completed final project to the facilitator before the end of the final session of this workshop. A set of Final Project Guidelines is available as a resource for facilitators and participants.

Workshop Surveys
Participants are expected to complete an orientation survey before the end of Session One of the workshop, and a final survey within one week of the end of the final workshop session.